June 27, 2023

June 27

June 27, 2023:  Tuesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


For Psalm 15
Pope Francis

  • Gn 13:2, 5-18 Abram was rich in livestock, silver, and gold.  Lot also had flocks, herds, and tents, so the land couldn't support them bothAbram told Lot, “Let there be no strife between us or between our herdsmen.  Please separate from me; go the way you want, and I'll go the other.”  Lot chose the Jordan Plain, seeing how well watered it was, and they separated; Abram stayed in Canaan,while Lot pitched his tents near Sodom.   Sodom's inhabitants were wicked.  The Lord told Abram, “Look around; I'll give you and your descendants all the land you see.  I'll make your descendants too numerous to count.”  Abram settled at Hebron and built an altar to the Lord there.
  • Ps 15:2-4ab, 5  "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  Those who walk blamelessly, think the truth, honor those who fear God, and don't slander, harm, take up reproach, lend at usury, or accept bribes will never be disturbed. 
  • Mt 7:6, 12-14  “Don't give what's holy to dogs, or your pearls to swine, lest they trample them then tear you to pieces.  Do to others what you'd have them do to you.  Enter through the narrow gate; many take the wide gate to destruction, but few find the narrow gate to life.”
  • Creighton:  Imagine Lot and Abram's frustration, irritation, and squabbles.  It can be easy for me to be uncharitable, frustrated, and self-focused.  May we choose love and peace.
  • One Bread, One Body:  “Deciding aright”:  To make the right decision, we must ask the right question, we must not automatically choose the easy way; we must decide by faith, choose the road less traveled, and give our lives to Christ.
  • Passionist:  If someone doesn't want what you offer, why give it to them?  People with no faith background can’t accept what they don’t understand, but we should continue to be Christ to them.  Persevere:  fight distractions, focus on what's important to reach God, pray for mercy and for determination to fight the good fight, to focus on his path, and to continue to share with love.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't throw your pearls before swine":  Pearls were of great value, worn as jewels to make one appear more beautiful.  Holiness, likewise, is a jewel that radiates the beauty of God's truth and goodness through how we think, speak, act, and treat others.  The Talmud calls something that appears incongruous an "ear ring in a swine's snout"; Jesus' "pearls before swine" and "not giving dogs what is holy" expressions are similar.  Swine were considered unclean, and wild dogs were considered unfit for close contact.  Jesus’ concern is with keeping the faith and way of life God entrusted to us.  Before Communion the early church proclaimed:  Holy things to the holy, and the Didache  stated, "Only the baptized may eat or drink of your Eucharist; the Lord has said, 'Don't give what's holy to dogs.'"
Jesus summed up and upgraded Old Testament law and prophets with the golden rule.  God's law of love requires more than not hurting others but rather seeking others' good and giving our best for them.  God's love fuels our love for others.  If we empty ourselves of what's unkind, unloving, and unforgiving, we'll have room for kindness, goodness, mercy, and charity.  May we love others and treat them like we want God to treat us.  Holy Spirit, transform my life with the fire of God's love.
Jesus reinforced his lesson about choosing the way to peace with God with the illustration of a narrow gate opening to a life of security and happiness.  Psalms begins with an image of one who has chosen to follow the way of those obedient to God's word, not those who act contrary to it.  Our choices affect our lives.  Do my choices move me towards loving and following God?  "Let me love you, Lord, and see myself as I am, a pilgrim, a Christian called to respect and love all I touch....  Help me conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor.  Help me forget myself and reach out." (Clement XI) 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Early Cyrillic: thanks, St. Cyril
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop, fought Nestorian heresy.  Read his writings online.
  • Mary, Our Lady (Mother) of Perpetual (Unfailing) Help
  • St. John Southworth, priest, martyr
  • Bl. Nykyta Budka, priest, martyr
  • Bl. Vasyl Velychkovsky, bishop, abbot
Dress legend
  • 'Cow' pin, silver- and gold-colored accessories:  Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold (1st reading); golden rule (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Lot had flocks (1st reading)
  • "?" pin:  "Isn't the whole land at your disposal?" (1st reading)
  • 'Scales' brooch:  Do justice; live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  Those who walk blamelessly will never be disturbed (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Those who think the truth in their heart...
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...and don't slander with their tongue will live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
  • 'Money bag' pin:  Those who don't lend at usury won't be disturbed (psalm)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  Don't give dogs what's holy... (gospel)
  • 'Pearl' tie pin:  ...or throw your pearls... (gospel)
  • 'Swine' suspenders:  ...before swine... (gospel)
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  ...lest they be trampled underfoot (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

June 26, 2023

June 26

June 26, 2023:  Monday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


For Psalm 33
  • Gn 12:1-9  Lord to Abram:  “Go to a land I'll show you.  I'll make of you a great nation and bless you; all shall find blessing in you.”  Abram went as the Lord directed him, with his wife, Sarai, his brother’s son, Lot, and their possessions, setting out for Canaan, where the Lord said, “To your descendants I'll give this land.” Abram built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
  • Ps 33:12-13, 18-20, 22  "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."  From heaven the Lord looks down and sees us all, to deliver and preserve us.  We wait for the Lord, our help and shield....
  • Mt 7:1-5  “Stop judging; you'll be judged as you judge.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  Hypocrite, remove the beam; then you'll see clearly to remove the splinter.”
    • Creighton:  God asked Abram to move away from the familiar, and to a place he didn’t know, a foreign land of uncertainty, fostering anxiety, discomfort, and fear.  You need to let go to move forward, to leave the certain and secure behind.  The gospel challenges us to recognize what keeps us from seeing.  As God challenges Abram to see clearly by leaving the familiar, Jesus says we can't see because we don't recognize what we try to protect.  We carry around a beam to hold on to the familiar, even if it causes harm and keeps us from seeing, instead of letting go.  May we let go of our small selves that don't allow us to see a different storyline.  We need to move, change, grow, not be complacent....
    • One Bread, One Body"Abandonment":  When Abram was 75, the Lord told him to leave his homeland, and he did.  Would you?  The Lord told St. Joseph to flee to Egypt, and he did.  Would you?  The Lord told teen Mary to give up her plans and conceive God by the power of the Spirit.  Will you let the Lord do whatever he wants with you?  When I accept Jesus as Lord, I abandon myself to him.  I live for him, not myself.  “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
    • Passionist:  Abram and Sarai are called to a journey of uncertainty, and they go.  Today's migrants leave knowing the journey is dangerous, the destination uncertain.  Would I have had Abam's courage?  May I be attentive to those who embark on an arduous journey.  May God lead them safely.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Take the log out of your eye":  Think the best of others to grow in love.  We can't see people's inner motives and intentions and don't have all the facts, we're swayed by instinct, and we react unreasonably.
    "'Hypocrite,' pretender, is aptly used here, since denouncing evil is best viewed as a matter only for the upright.  We must avoid pretenders who under the guise of seeking advice censure, often moved by malice.  When you must reprove, proceed with discernment and caution.  If the fault is one you had but overcame, remember our common frailty so the correction and admonition will be with mercy.  If you've never had the fault, remember you could have.  If you have the fault, don't correct or rebuke, but bemoan your fault and induce the other to the same concern." (Augustine, Sermon on the Mount, paraphrased)
    How we treat others will return to us.  The Lord sees everything, even imperfections and sins we don't see, draws us to his mercy seat, and removes the sin.  Lord, purify my heart so I may have room for charity and forbearance.  "Give us the humility that realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice, and accepts rebuke.  Help us praise not criticize, sympathize not discourage, build not destroy, and think of people at their best not their worst." (Barclay)
    Dress legend
    • 'People' pin:  All communities of the earth shall find blessing in you (1st reading); blessed the people the Lord has chosen (psalm)
    • 'Alps' pin:  Abram moved to the hill country (1st reading)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  Our soul waits for the Lord (psalm)
    • 'Scales of justice' tie:  Stop judging, lest you be judged (gospel)
    • 'Rulers' suspenders:  The measure you measure will be measured out to you (gospel)
    • '?' tie pin: Jesus' questions:  "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  How can you say, ‘Let me remove that splinter’ while the beam is in your eye?  Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Won't both fall into a pit?" (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him (psalm); remove the beam from your eye (gospel)
    • 'Wood block' tie pin:  Splinter in my brother’s eye vs. beam in mine (gospel)
    • 'Actor masks' tie bar:  You hypocrite (ὑποκριτής = 'actor') (gospel)

    June 25, 2023

    12th Sun., Ordinary Time

    June 25, 2023:  Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    For 2nd reading
    For Psalm 69
    Pope Francis

    • Jer 20:10-13  "I hear whisperings:  'Denounce him!'  Those who were my friends now watch for a misstep.  'Then we can prevail and take vengeance.'  But the Lord is with me:  my persecutors will fail and be put to shame.  Lord, you who test the just, who probe the heart, to you I've entrusted my cause.  Sing to the Lord, who rescued the poor from the power of the wicked!"
    • Ps 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35  "Lord, in your great love, answer me."  For your sake I bear insult, because zeal for your house consumes me.  Answer me in your kindness.  "Revive, you who seek God!  The Lord hears the poor.  Let heaven, earth, the seas, and what moves in them all praise him!''
    • Rom 5:12-15  Through one man sin and death entered the world.  Death reigned from Adam to Moses.  But if by the sin of the one the many died, how much more did God's grace and the gift of Jesus Christ overflow for the many.
    • Mt 10:26-33  "Fear no one.  Everything concealed will be revealed; all secrets will be known.  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.  Don't fear those who kill the body but can't kill the soul; fear the one who can destroy both soul and body.  No sparrow falls without your Father's knowledge, and you're worth more than a flock of sparrows.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I'll acknowledge before my Father...."
    • Creighton:  God knows fear can paralyze us.  Today’s gospel encourages us to move beyond our fears.  It's easier to foster fear and hate than compassion and love.  Our propensity for fear drives suspicion and fear of others.  When I start to fear, it's time to remember how each person is a child of God worth more than a flock of sparrows.   
    • One Bread, One Body:  Will I let fear manipulate me into sinful compromises, or refuse to be controlled and push it out?  "Don't let them intimidate you.”  “Don't fear those who deprive the body of life but can't destroy the soul.”  “Don't fear anything.”  Let's respond to fear with faith:  "Fear not; only believe.” “The Lord is with me, like a mighty Champion:  my persecutors will stumble, not triumph.”  We can say, ‘The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear;”  “The Lord is my life’s Refuge; whom should I fear?”
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Fear not; you're worth more than many sparrows":  Fear is powerful; it can lead us to panic and flight or spur us to faith and action.  Fear of God is the antidote to fear of losing your life.  Fear of God is reverence for the One who made and sustains us in love and mercy.  The greatest injury we can experience is loss of our soul; healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom, and right judgment and frees us from pride, cowardice, and deception.  Jesus met with opposition when proclaiming God's kingdom; he tells his disciples they must expect the same; it's both a warning and a privilege.  Jesus' disciples must carry their cross like he himself did.   The Spirit gives us power and grace to live as Jesus' disciples.
    • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Luan (Moluag, Lua, Murlach, or Lugaidh), bishop, founded 100 monastic settlements
    Dress legend
    • Watch (not shown):  Those who were my friends are on the 'watch' for a misstep of mine (1st reading)
    • 'Prize' pin:  The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion (1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  Lord, you probe mind and heart (1st reading); you who seek God, may your hearts revive (psalm)
    • 'Clef' pin:  Sing to the Lord (1st reading)
    • "LOVE" suspenders sticker:  Lord, in your great love, answer me (psalm)
    • 'Papa bear' button:  For your sake I 'bear' insult (psalm)
    • "Boundless mercy" pin:  In your great mercy turn toward me (psalm)
      • 'Lights' tie:  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light (gospel)
      • "?" pin, 'coin' button:  "Aren't two sparrows sold for a small coin?" (gospel)
      • 'Bird' pin:  You're worth more than many sparrows (gospel)

      February 25, 2023

      Feb. 25

      February 25, 2023:  Saturday after Ash Wednesday

      See 20 connections with today?
      Legend below


      For Psalm 86
        • Mighty Lord/ Foley [needs banjo]; use free Spotify login
      Pope Francis

      To Pontifical Universities Each of you belongs to a system of ecclesiastical studies linked to the Church's evangelizing mission.  Together you form a choir.  In the University, different perspectives express themselves in harmony, complement, correct, and balance each other (St. John Henry Newman).  Cultivate this harmony within yourselves, mind, heart, and hands.  The "intelligence of the hands" is the most sensory but not least important.   The hands are like the soul because of their power to distinguish and explore (Aristotle).  Jesus' hands touch bread and wine, body and blood; they give thanks, because they feel everything is a gift from the Father.  

      Form this kind of choir in all your communities and institutions to lead to an effective, stable, and organic synergy between academic institutions, better to honor the purposes of each and foster the Church's mission.  Hope is a choral reality.  Renew your commitment to make a harmonious choir docile to the living action of the Spirit.

      Opens Vatican judicial year:  Peace without justice is not true peace; it has no foundations or possibilities for a future.  The conflict in Ukraine, aggravated by other war outbreaks, has plunged the world into deep crisis and risk of self-destruction.  Christians are called to build peace and justice.  Every commitment to peace implies and requires commitment to justice, the virtue by which we give everyone what they're entitled to, indispensable for the correct functioning of common life and for everyone to live in peace.  Justice is a virtue cultivated through the personal conversion, and to be exercised together with prudence, fortitude, and temperance.

      Vatican City State Tribunals operate in this perspective, settling civil and criminal cases.  In the recent financial criminal trials against Vatican officials, the concern isn't so much the trials themselves but rather the facts and criminal misconduct by Church members that have seriously harmed our effectiveness in reflecting God's light.  Vatican Justice is to find a balance between justice and mercy, assisted by rigorous discernment and recourse to equity.  Mercy and justice walk together towards the same goal; mercy is the fulfillment, not suspension, of justice.  The Church fulfills her mandate when bearing witness, in word and deed, to the mercy she's received.  The path of justice makes fraternity, where all are protected, especially the weakest, possible.

      • Is 58:9b-14  If you remove oppression... and satisfy the afflicted, the Lord will guide and renew you.  If you honor the sabbath, you'll delight in the Lord, and I'll nourish you.
      • Ps 86:1-6  "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth."  Have mercy on me.  I lift my soul to you; gladden it.  Attend to my pleading.
      • Lk 5:27-32  Jesus to Levi:  “Follow me”; he left everything and followed.  He gave a banquet for him with tax collectors and others; Pharisees complained:  “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus:  “The healthy don't need a doctor; just the sick.  I came to call sinners.”

      • Creighton:  In astonishing freedom, Levi left everything to follow Jesus.  Oh, to be such a dedicated and free disciple!  Have I left everything like him?  He hosted a lavish dinner for Jesus and introduced his friends to Jesus.  That sounds like someone whose life was radically reoriented toward God.  May we become more fully reoriented, approach to-dos as opportunities to encounter and love God, and release those who don't serve such a vision.  May we find more opportunities to encounter, love, and serve God, and like Levi to invite others into relationship with God.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Walking into glory":  Our Lenten journey's destination is Jesus’ Resurrection. When we meet the risen Christ, “light shall rise in the darkness, gloom shall become” like midday, "the Lord will guide” us and give us "plenty," ruins shall be rebuilt, we'll raise up the foundations, and they'll call us “repairer of the breach, restorer of ruined homesteads.”  Easter will be more than we could ever ask for or imagine.  Isaiah’s prophecies will be fulfilled.  Christ’s love and glory will be so greatly manifested that it would be too much for us if we hadn't prepared through repentance, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer.  Lent is so necessary because Easter is so great.
      • Passionist:  The Lenten message is simple but easily missed and quickly forgotten:  If we do good, seeking justice, we'll be renewed.  If we don't dance with evil, we'll find life and happiness.  Isaiah tells us that to shatter darkness and scatter sadness, we must confront evil and bring justice.  If we battle oppression, stop malicious speech, share what we have, and reach out to the afflicted, then light and life will come.  In the gospel, Jesus invites tax collector Levi to leave everything, to strike out on an uncharted path, and Levi does.  In a burst of freedom, Levi redefines himself as disciple.  To find new life, Levi has to reimagine not his life and identity, to think of himself as a disciple on a path to a different, promising way of life.  May we reimagine who we are and what we're up to.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus calls sinners to follow him":  When we bless others, especially those needing help, God blesses us.  The religious leaders were upset with Jesus' behavior towards public sinners.  Orthodox Jews avoided them, didn't do business with them, didn't give them anything.  Jesus' association with tax collectors and sinners shocked their sensibilities.  When they challenged him, he told them a doctor goes to the sick.  Jesus sought out those in greatest need.  Jesus came as Divine Physician and Good Shepherd to care for us and restore us.  The orthodox were so preoccupied, they neglected to help the people who needed it most.  Jesus came to call sinners, not the "righteous."  Ironically the orthodox were as needy as those they despised; all have sinned.  Thank God for his mercy; seek others' good.  "By 'follow' [Jesus] meant not so much the movement of feet as of the heart, carrying out a way of life.  One who says he lives in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, not aim at earthly things or pursue perishable gains, but flee base praise, embrace contempt of all that is worldly for the sake of heavenly glory, do good to all, inflict injuries on no one, patiently suffer injury, ask God’s forgiveness for those who oppress, seek God's glory, and uphold what helps you love heavenly things.  In this way Matthew became a follower of One who had no riches. The Lord who outwardly called Matthew inwardly bestowed on him the gift of an invisible impulse so he could follow" (Bede the Venerable).
        Dress legend
        • Congress lanyards, St. Bede button:  2023 Religious Education Congress in progress; I'm attending and helping from St. Bede parish.
        • 'Feet' pin:  Hold back your foot from following your own pursuits (1st reading)
        • 'Wheat' tie bar:  If you give your bread to the hungry, remove oppression, and satisfy the afflicted,... (1st reading)
        • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  ...then light shall rise for you,... (1st reading)
        • 'Helm' tie pin:  ...and the Lord will guide you always... (1st reading)
        • 'Alps' pin:  ...and make you ride on the heights of the earth (1st reading)
        • Blue shirt:  If you remove oppression, share your bread, and satisfy the afflicted,... you'll be like a watered garden, a spring whose water never fails (1st reading)
        • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The mouth of the Lord has spoken (1st reading)
        • Suspenders with globe:  "I'll make you ride on the heights of the earth" (1st reading)
        • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  Have mercy on me, Lord,... (psalm)
        • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...for I 'call' to you all day (psalm); I came to 'call' sinners (gospel)
        • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Teach me Your way,... (psalm)
        • 'Walker' tie pin:  ...that I may walk in Your truth (psalm)
        • 'Money bag' tie pin:  Jesus saw tax collector Levi; tax collectors at Levi's banquet (gospel)
        • "JC" chain:  "Follow me" (gospel)
        • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Levi gave a great banquet for Jesus... (gospel)
        • "?" pin:  "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" (gospel)
        • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Only the sick need a doctor (gospel)
        • Purple on cross:  Lent

        February 24, 2023

        Feb. 24

        February 24, 2023:  Friday after Ash Wednesday

        See 14 connections with today?
        Legend below


        40 Hymns & Worship Songs for Lent... 
        For 1st reading
        For Psalm 51, see Wednesday's post  

        Pope Francis to Max Planck Society

        Maintain standards of pure science, uninfluenced by political or economic prejudice.  Be careful in these times of technological change about supplementing people's intellectual and emotional thoughts with machines' through AI.  It raises issues for ethics and for society as a whole:  where we are heading, and what's the meaning of life?  Reflect on how to solve problems with this new form of “hybrid thinking,” from people using AI to supplement thought and ask questions.  Preference has often been given to “technical” responsibility, leaving no room for morality.  People give precedent to functionality over what's ethical, but really, care for others is more important than "results."  We're responsible not only for what we do, but above all for what we can do but choose not to do.

        • Is 58:1-9a  On your fast day you quarrel and carry out your own pursuits, but the fast I want is releasing those bound unjustly, freeing the oppressed, sharing your bread, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, and caring for your own.  Then you'll have light, healing, and vindication, and God will answer you.
        • Ps 51:3-6ab, 18-19  "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn."  Have mercy on me.
        • Mt 9:14-15  John's disciples / Jesus:  “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but not your disciples?” / “Wedding guests can't mourn while the groom is among them, but when he's taken away, they'll fast.

            • Creighton:  "What have you given up for Lent?"  Children often give up sweets.  Adults might select something more such as alcohol or social media.  Today's 1st reading says fasting is to loosen the yoke of oppression shouldered by the poor, marginalized, and others in need. Look to see them.  May we connect more with those who would benefit from our love and attention.  May we find ways to notice and serve the hungry, marginalized, and excluded, to give from the heart, so that the efforts become habit.  May our experiences satisfy the thirst that remains after our fast, so that we too may flourish...
            • One Bread, One Body:  "A fast one":  Fasting is limiting our food intake in obedience to God to build his kingdom.  It's about obedience, not quantity.  Lenten fast is intentional imitation of Christ who fasted in the desert, to be united with him and grow in relationship with him.  When we abstain from meat today, our expression of unity encourages us to persevere and focus on unity with Jesus and other Catholics.  Fast and make your voice heard on high.
            • Passionist:  How are we going to ‘do’ Lent this year?  Lent challenges me to refresh my spirit that I may be an instrument of God.  We're to help the poor, hungry, oppressed, homeless, naked, those victimized and treated unjustly.  Lent calls me to be present to those in need, to pray with and for them, to try and relieve their suffering.  Our pastor encourages us to pray daily for someone who's wronged us or whom we just don’t like.  May I be more contrite and humble, focusing on the goodness around me, not succumbing to ways that move me away from God’s love.
            • DailyScripture.net:  "Fasting for God's kingdom":  Hunger for God and fasting for his kingdom go hand in hand.  The Lord's disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification; there's a time for rejoicing in the Lord's presence and goodness and a time for seeking him with humility, fasting, and mourning for sin.  May we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our life with God's power and grace.  Fasting can be done to gain freedom from a bad habit, share in others' suffering, or grow in hunger for God and things of heaven.  "Don't just abstain from meat. True fasting is refraining from vice.  Shred your unjust contracts.  Pardon your neighbors...." (Basil the Great).
            Dress legend
            •  'Car' pin:  "On your fast day you 'drive' all your laborers" (1st reading)
            • 'Wheat' tie bar:  Share your bread with the hungry (1st reading)
            • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  Clothe the naked (1st reading)
            • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "Lift up your voice like a trumpet blast" (1st reading)
            • 'Helm' tie pin:  Don't turn your back on your own (1st reading)
            • 'Lights' tie:  When you fast like God wants, your light shall break forth (1st reading)
            • 'Phone' tie bar:  You'll 'call' and the Lord will answer (1st reading)
            • "?" pin:  “Why do we fast, and you don't see it?  afflict ourselves, and you not take note?” "Is this the kind of fast I wish?" (1st reading); “Why do we fast but not your disciples?” “Can the guests mourn while the groom is with them?” (gospel)
            • 'Boundless mercy' button:  "Have mercy on me; in your compassion wipe out my offense..." (psalm)
            • 'Heart' pin:  You won't spurn a contrite, humbled heart (psalm)
            • Blue shirt:  Wash me from my guilt (psalm)
            • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season